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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=What's wrong with manual labour?. Sorry for the trouble.

What's wrong with manual labour?

Sunday, June 13, 2004
The following is from the letter's page of yesterday's GDN. I don't know if this is representative of the situation at most companies in Bahrain, but it is an interesting account nonetheless.
Hard work the key to success for Bahrainis

I am working in a large organisation wherein we need to employ 3,000 for a new and upcoming prestigious harbour project.

We asked various establishments for skilled and semi-skilled workers and we got the grand total of 38 out of 3,000. And, what did they want to do, security jobs only!

This is a job for four to five years and with prospects of moving to new jobs when the said project is completed but, unfortunately, some young Bahrainis of today do not want to work, unless it is a security job.

They don't want to work digging the roads. Look at all the major road works in Bahrain - do you see any Bahrainis?

They go off marching for their rights. What are their rights when they have been offered jobs but refuse them.

There is a lot of administrative work, manual work, operative work and the majority are unskilled. This is not a problem as they will get on-the-job training.
I have given 10 Bahrainis jobs in the past three months. The second day, one was off with a 'sore head', the second week two were of with 'sore backs' and did not come back as the job was too tiring, the third week three left to work as security guards, and two of them were dismissed the first week for not turning up.

Out of my five left three are on their second warning.

My next batch will be from the sub-continent where I know I can rely on them to come to work, and work. (Continued)
This is an issue that was discussed some time ago on Mahmood's blog. I'm wondering now, what is it about manual labour that most Bahrainis will refuse to do it even when there aren't any other jobs available to them? I understand that it is very uncomfortable to be out in the heat, or to be doing work with your hands. But if the pay level was increased enough, then would Bahrainis agree to do it? Or if it is a matter of pride, what specifically about it is so unappealing, and how might the situation be rectified?
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